Rebels on the Mountain

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Golden Smoked Rebel. Mountain Herbs Rebel. Organic Hay Flower Rebel. The title of the book promises an examination of conditions until but the five years after the war are but lightly touched upon. Basically, the story presented of post-war East Tennessee is one of revenge taking against pro-Confederates for acts committed against their pro-Union neighbors early in the war.

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The result was an exodus of pro-Confederates, most of them Democrats in political affiliation, from the area. An interesting addition to the book could have been made by tying the roots of East Tennessee's traditional adherence to the Republican Party to these war time and post-war experiences. The assumption stated by Dr. Groce that pro-Confederate slave holders were more firmly attached to slavery than were pro-Union slave holders is quite in keeping with currently popular historiography; however, the author puts forth no evidence whatsoever to support this assumption.

Indeed, there is evidence that the pro-Union slave holders may have been the party more firmly attached to slavery.


These men surely knew that the Dred Scott Decision gave absolute protection to slavery so far as the national legislature was concerned and that by remaining in the Union a state could claim that protection. By leaving the Union Secessionists were giving abolitionists an opportunity to attack slavery, an opportunity which would have been denied by remaining in the Union.

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  • East Tennessee Confederates and the Civil War, 1860-1870.
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In one instance Dr. Groce overplays the dislike of the Confederate high command for East Tennessee troops. On page 88 the author depicts General John P. McCown as a "scapegoat" for Confederate failure at Stones River, a scapegoat chosen because the general was from East Tennessee. Actually, McCown had botched his combat assignment at Murfreesboro, causing a delay in the Confederate advance and allowing other troops to come under an enfilade fire due to his failure.

Bradley on Groce, 'Mountain Rebels: East Tennessee Confederates and the Civil War, 1860-1870'

Although Mountain Rebels is a recasting of Dr. Groce's Ph. We do not use them. We have our own indigenous government. We have different problems now, but we are finding the solutions ourselves. It is much better. There are many more of us, too. Our organisation is stronger.

Things changed because we organised ourselves. We could not continue to live like we did. But while they reject globalisation, they are its beneficiaries, receiving aid from support groups in Britain, the US and across Europe. We are developing a new form of governance. She rejects suggestions that the Zapatistas have become a political cult that has turned its back on the outside world.

We are now self-reliant. We have email and the internet. We are part of a global indigenous movement. We teach ourselves.

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Our people work everywhere now, as teachers, farmers, communicators. We work with other Zapatistas and indigenous groups. The base of our society is people, not the capitalist system. You must understand that we were the poorest people. We were marginalised. We still do not trust authorities.

Even though we are autonomous now, there is still fear.